An extremely rare Mexican gray wolf has died at the El Paso Zoo.

To add an even sadder note, the El Paso Zoo announced that the wolf had to be euthanized. The wolf, named Zephyr, was about 14 years old and suffering from many health issues. (Mexican Gray Wolves typically live about 11 years.) Zephyr's overall health and quality of life were the factors that prompted zookeepers and veterinarians to make the difficult decision to put him down. The zoo has one Mexican wolf, "Polly", left.

These wolves are incredibly rare and, as of 2018, only 114 exist(ed) in the wild. That wasn't always the case though:

Once there were thousands of these wolves but in the U.S. many had been killed by the mid-1970s, and just a handful existed in zoos. In 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under Jamie Rappaport Clark (who became president of Defenders of Wildlife), introduced 11 Mexican gray wolves into the wild in Arizona. Their numbers have grown slowly and they are currently the world’s most endangered wolf subspecies. -